Green Buildings

CSU Dominguez Hills Honored for Water Conservation Project

California State University, Dominguez Hills is one of four organizations to receive a One Water Award from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California for major improvements to water management operations in Los Angeles, Riverside and San Diego counties. The awards were presented on Tap Water Day (May 2) as part of the state's Water Awareness Month, funded by Metropolitan's Water Savings Incentive Program and Turf Replacement Program.

The university was honored for an HVAC condensate recovery project that "captures and reuses high-quality water from HVAC condensation at the Carson campus that was previously lost to sewer drains," according to a news announcement. The water is collected from various buildings by a visible network of clear pipes and tanks and redirected for use in HVAC cooling towers — saving about 80,000 gallons of water a year, the institution reported. The university has also turned the project into an education lab, offering tours and first-hand learning to promote better water stewardship.

"Sustainability has a role in everything — it's being implemented into the classroom, into the curriculum," commented Kenny Seeton, director of central plant operations and strategic energy projects at CSU Dominguez Hills. "Students care, and they want to do the right thing. So as the campus, we need to do the right thing, set that example, and give them living lab lessons — which is kind of how this project came about."

Other organizations recognized include Altman Specialty Plants, for recycling 80% of its nursery irrigation runoff; Jamacha Park Homeowners Association, for its work to replace 58,000 square feet of grass with more climate-appropriate plants, efficient irrigation, and stormwater retention elements; and El Caballero Country Club, for redesigning its golf course to improve environmental sustainability. Together, the four projects will save more than 200 million gallons of water annually.

"Extreme drought and climate change require us to think differently about how we use water," said Adán Ortega, Jr., Metropolitan board chair, in a statement. "The water-saving projects developed by these four organizations are great examples of the actions that must be taken to adapt to our changing climate and store water for use when we need it."

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].